I love traveling. The ability to go off to foreign places has been one of God’s gifts to me over the years, in spite of the fact that my family has never been wealthy.
My first adventure came during university when a friend urged me to put my name on the list for a trip to Spain being organized by the faculty of the geology program. I balked at first. “There’s no way,” I told her. It was almost the end of the year and I was almost broke. But when I was offered a seat the pieces fell into place and off I went. Traveling around Spain, Portugal, France and Switzerland opened my eyes to the wonders of Europe and gave me a thirst for more.
Then I found myself in the Yukon and travel to anywhere was expensive. “But everyone has to have a honeymoon,” my new husband said, so off we went to California, arriving in San Francisco on Chinese New Year. Now that was a cross cultural experience!
Not long after, we made the leap of faith, landed in Bible College on the flat Canadian prairie and then moved one province to the west to begin ministry in our first church. I thought our traveling days were over. A pastor's salary didn't leave much in extra income. But God had more in store for us.
After seven years it was time for a year-long sabbatical. “Papua New Guinea,” a missions expert advised us, “That will be a good place for you to go.” I wasn’t even sure where PNG was, but God made the doors open and before I could voice all the ‘what ifs’ we were there. Life in the third world was both challenging and exhilarating as God opened our eyes to the need to trust Him every moment of the day. At the end of that year coming home was harder than going, but slowly God worked in our hearts and minds and souls and we adjusted once again to life in Canada. An opportunity provided through our church's affiliation with The Associated Gospel Churches of Canada took us to Israel not long after, and then seven years later God moved us from our comfort zone again, to begin a new work in a small community. As a church planter, my husband’s salary dropped into the bottom of the barrel once more. And once again, I thought our traveling days were over.
But God had another plan. It included eighteen months of cancer treatments and a slow recovery. “Take your wife somewhere warm,” the doctor said. Impossible, I thought, but before I could list all the reasons why not we were floating on the warm waters of the Caribbean.
A cruise was not something I had ever envisioned in my future but when my husband’s mother turned 90 she decided she wanted to celebrate with the whole family – on a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska. When she was 92 there was one more trip on her bucket list – the long cruise to Hawaii, and she wanted me to go with her. I had to think about that for just a second or two.
Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, the Yukon, Alaska, Papua New Guinea, Israel, the Caribbean, Hawaii. Not bad for someone who thought she’d never leave the borders of her own province, let alone her country.
Yes, it’s been a joy to see it all, to experience so much. But even more, it’s been a blessing to see what God wanted to teach us through it all. There have been many lessons about trust, about His provision, about His generosity and love. With every adventure we learned more about Him.
“Surely you have granted (us) unending blessings and made (us) glad with the joy of your presence.” Psalm 21:6
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Hot Apple Cider books. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
Sign up to receive her devotional column, The Spur